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Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a
historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locat ...
of
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact character ...

Western Asia
situated within the
Tigris–Euphrates river system The Tigris–Euphrates river system is a large river system in Western Asia which discharges into the Persian Gulf. Its principal rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates along with smaller tributaries. From their sources and upper courses in the ...
, in the northern part of the
Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
. Mesopotamia occupies most of present-day
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...

Iraq
and
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to Iraq–Kuw ...

Kuwait
. The historical region includes the head of the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
and parts of present-day
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
, and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
. The
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

Sumer
ians and
Akkadians The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ Ārām''-Nahrīn'' or ܒ ...
(including
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
and
Babylonia Babylonia () was an Ancient history, ancient Akkadian language, Akkadian-speaking state (polity), state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and Syria). A small Amorites, Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 ...
ns) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history () to the
fall of Babylon The Fall of Babylon denotes the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire after it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire in 539 BCE. Nabonidus (Nabû-na'id, 556–539 BCE), son of the Assyrian priestess Adda-Guppi, came to the throne in 556 BCE, afte ...
in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of ...

Achaemenid Empire
. It fell to
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus'') of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom) ...
in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Hellenistic The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323&n ...
. Later the
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic: 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; Greek language, Greek: Ἀραμαῖοι; Syriac language, Syriac: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ / Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, fir ...
dominated major parts of Mesopotamia (). Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertw ...

Parthian Empire
. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In 226 AD, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians. The division of Mesopotamia between Roman (Byzantine from 395 AD) and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century
Muslim conquest of Persia The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, was carried out by the Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, ') was the first of the four major caliphat ...
of the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...

Sasanian Empire
and
Muslim conquest of the Levant The Muslim conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ الْإٍسْـلَامِيُّ لِـلـشَّـامِ, ''Al-Faṫṫḥul-Islāmiyyuash-Shām''), also known as the Arab conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـح ...
from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century BC, including
Adiabene Adiabene (from the Ancient Greek , ''Adiabene'', itself derived from syc, ܚܕܝܐܒ, ' or ', Middle Persian: ''Nodshēragān'', Armenian language, Armenian: Նոր Շիրական, ''Nor Shirakan'', Hebrew: ''חדייב'', ''Hadaiav'') was an anci ...
,
Osroene Osroene (; grc, Ὀσροηνή / ''Osrhoēnē'', Romanized as ''Osroëne'', or ''Osrhoene'') was an ancient region and state in Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq ...

Osroene
, and
Hatra Hatra was an ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia located in present-day eastern Nineveh Governorate Nineveh Governorate ( ar, محافظة نينوى, syr, ܗܘܦܪܟܝܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ, Hoparkiya d’Ninwe, ku, Parêzgeha Neynewa ,پارێزگ ...

Hatra
. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Americ ...
from around 10,000 BC. It has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history, including the invention of the
wheel File:Roue primitive.png, An early wheel made of a solid piece of wood In its primitive form, a wheel is a circular block of a hard and durable material at whose center has been bored a hole through which is placed an axle An axle or axle ...

wheel
, the planting of the first cereal
crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture Agriculture is the p ...
s, and the development of
cursive Cursive (also known as script, among other names) is any style of penmanship in which some characters are written joined together in a flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing faster, in contrast to block letters. Cursive ha ...
script,
mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It has no generally ...
,
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, physi ...
, and
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated species created food ...
". It has been known as one of the earliest civilizations to ever exist in the world.


Etymology

The regional toponym ''Mesopotamia'' (, grc, Μεσοποταμία '
and And or AND may refer to: Logic, grammar, and computing * Conjunction (grammar) In grammar, conjunction (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated or ) is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or clauses that are called the conjuncts ...
between rivers'; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; fa, میان‌رودان ; syr, ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ "land of rivers") comes from the
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Dark Ages () ...
root words (, 'middle') and (, 'river') and translates to '(land) between rivers'. It is used throughout the Greek
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible and deuterocanonical books. The ...
() to translate the Hebrew and Aramaic equivalent ''Naharaim''. An even earlier Greek usage of the name ''Mesopotamia'' is evident from ''
The Anabasis of Alexander ''The Anabasis of Alexander'' ( grc-gre, Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἀνάβασις, ''Alexándrou Anábasis''; la, Anabasis Alexandri) was composed by Arrian Arrian of Nicomedia (; Greek: ''Arrianos''; la, Lucius Flavius Arrianus; ) w ...
'', which was written in the late 2nd century AD but specifically refers to sources from the time of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus'') of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom) ...
. In the ''Anabasis'', Mesopotamia was used to designate the land east of the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). Or ...
in north
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
. The term ''Ārām Nahrīn'' ( syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, links=no) ( he, ארם נהריים, ) was used multiple times in the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon, which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical c ...
of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
to describe "Aram between the (two) rivers". The
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...
term corresponded to a similar geographical concept. Later, the term ''Mesopotamia'' was more generally applied to all the lands between the Euphrates and the
Tigris The Tigris, () is the eastern of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end ...

Tigris
, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but also almost all of
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...

Iraq
and southeastern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
. The neighbouring
steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may in ...

steppe
s to the west of the Euphrates and the western part of the
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس; ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyayên Zagros;) are a long mountain range in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of I ...
are also often included under the wider term ''Mesopotami''a. A further distinction is usually made between ''Northern'' or ''
Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku ...
'' and ''Southern'' or ''
Lower MesopotamiaLower Mesopotamia is a historical region of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Wes ...
''. Upper Mesopotamia, also known as the ''Jazira'', is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a ...

Baghdad
. Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran. In modern academic usage, the term ''Mesopotamia'' often also has a chronological connotation. It is usually used to designate the area until the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
, with names like ''Syria'', ''Jazira'', and ''Iraq'' being used to describe the region after that date. It has been argued that these later euphemisms are
Eurocentric Eurocentrism (also Eurocentricity or Western-centrism) is a worldview that is centered on Western civilization Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and Europe ...
terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments.


Geography

Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). Or ...
and
Tigris The Tigris, () is the eastern of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end ...

Tigris
rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the
Taurus Mountains The Taurus Mountains ( Turkish: ''Toros Dağları''), are a mountain complex in southern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares border ...
. Both rivers are fed by numerous tributaries, and the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia usually follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are frequently steep and difficult. The climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a region of marshes, lagoons, mudflats, and reed banks in the south. In the extreme south, the Euphrates and the Tigris unite and empty into the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
. The arid environment ranges from the northern areas of rain-fed agriculture to the south where irrigation of agriculture is essential if a surplus
energy returned on energy investedIn energy economics Energy economics is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to supply and use of energy in societies. Due to diversity of issues and methods applied and shared with a number of academic disciplines, e ...
(EROEI) is to be obtained. This irrigation is aided by a high water table and by melting snows from the high peaks of the northern
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس; ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyayên Zagros;) are a long mountain range in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of I ...
and from the Armenian Highlands, the source of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that give the region its name. The usefulness of irrigation depends upon the ability to mobilize sufficient labor for the construction and maintenance of canals, and this, from the earliest period, has assisted the development of urban settlements and centralized systems of political authority. Agriculture throughout the region has been supplemented by nomadic pastoralism, where tent-dwelling nomads herded sheep and goats (and later camels) from the river pastures in the dry summer months, out into seasonal grazing lands on the desert fringe in the wet winter season. The area is generally lacking in building stone, precious metals, and timber, and so historically has relied upon long-distance trade of agricultural products to secure these items from outlying areas. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times and has added to the cultural mix. Periodic breakdowns in the cultural system have occurred for a number of reasons. The demands for labor has from time to time led to population increases that push the limits of the ecological carrying capacity, and should a period of climatic instability ensue, collapsing central government and declining populations can occur. Alternatively, military vulnerability to invasion from marginal hill tribes or nomadic pastoralists has led to periods of trade collapse and neglect of irrigation systems. Equally, centripetal tendencies amongst city-states have meant that central authority over the whole region, when imposed, has tended to be ephemeral, and localism has fragmented power into tribal or smaller regional units. These trends have continued to the present day in Iraq.


History

The prehistory of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
begins in the
Lower Paleolithic 250px, Four views of an Acheulean handaxe The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 3 million years ago when the Lomekwi, first evidence for stone ...
period. Therein, writing emerged with a pictographic script in the Uruk IV period (), and the documented record of actual historical events — and the ancient history of lower Mesopotamia — commenced in the mid-third millennium BC with cuneiform records of early dynastic kings. This entire history ends with either the arrival of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of ...

Achaemenid Empire
in the late 6th century BC or with the Muslim conquest and the establishment of the
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the '' ...
in the late 7th century AD, from which point the region came to be known as
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...
. In the long span of this period, Mesopotamia housed some of the world's most ancient highly developed, and socially complex states. The region was one of the four riverine civilizations where
writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the debatable exception of computer languages); they are means of rendering ...

writing
was invented, along with the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile
valley in
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric ...
, the
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta figurines indicate the yoking of zebu oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken, a domesticated jungle fowl. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze ...

Indus Valley Civilization
in the Indian subcontinent, and the
Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the List of rivers by length, sixth-longest river system in ...
in
Ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient his ...
. Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
,
Nippur Nippur ( Sumerian: ''Nibru'', often logographically recorded as , EN.LÍLKI, "Enlil City;"The Cambridge Ancient History: Prolegomena & Prehistory': Vol. 1, Part 1. Accessed 15 Dec 2010.] Akkadian language, Akkadian: ''Nibbur'') was an ancient Su ...
,
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris R ...
,
Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫܘܪ ''Āšūr''; Old Persian ''Aθur'', fa, آشور: ''Āšūr''; he, אַשּׁוּר: ', ar, اشور), ...
and
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' * Kassite: ''Karanduniash'' ...
, as well as major territorial states such as the city of
Eridu Eridu ( Sumerian: , NUN.KI/eridugki; Akkadian: ''irîtu''; modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan We ...
, the Akkadian kingdoms, the
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
, and the various
Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC (in the form of the ...
n empires. Some of the important historical Mesopotamian leaders were
Ur-Nammu Ur-Nammu (or Ur-Namma, Ur-Engur, Ur-Gur, Sumerian: , ruled c. 2112 BC – 2094 BC middle chronology The middle chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1792–1750 BCE a ...
(king of Ur),
Sargon of Akkad Sargon of Akkad (; akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Šar-ru-gi''), also known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. ...

Sargon of Akkad
(who established the Akkadian Empire),
Hammurabi Hammurabi () was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performanc ...

Hammurabi
(who established the Old Babylonian state),
Ashur-uballit IAshur-uballit I ''(Aššur-uballiṭ I)'', who reigned between 1365 and 1330 BC, was the first king of the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1050 BC). After his father Eriba-Adad I (1392-1366 BC) had broken Mitanni influence over Assyria, Ashur-uballit ...
and
Tiglath-Pileser I Tiglath-Pileser I (; from the Hebrew language, Hebraic form of akk, , Tukultī-apil-Ešarra, "my trust is in the Ashur (god), son of Ešarra") was a Kings of Assyria, king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian period (1114–1076 BC). According t ...
(who established the Assyrian Empire). Scientists analysed
DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
from the 8,000-year-old remains of early farmers found at an ancient graveyard in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Germany
. They compared the genetic signatures to those of modern populations and found similarities with the DNA of people living in today's
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
and
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...

Iraq
.


Periodization

File:Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia c. 1450 BC.png, Overview map in the 15th century BC showing the core territory of
Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC (in the form of the ...
with its two major cities
Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫܘܪ ''Āšūr''; Old Persian ''Aθur'', fa, آشور: ''Āšūr''; he, אַשּׁוּר: ', ar, اشور), ...
and
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris R ...
wedged between
Babylonia Babylonia () was an Ancient history, ancient Akkadian language, Akkadian-speaking state (polity), state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and Syria). A small Amorites, Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 ...
downstream and the states of Mitanni and Hittite Empire, Hatti upstream. * Pre- and protohistory ** Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (10,000–8700 BC) ** Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (8700–6800 BC) ** Jarmo (7500–5000 BC) ** [
Hassuna Tell Hassuna is a tell, or settlement mound, in the Nineveh Province (Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێ ...
(~6000 BC–? BC),
Samarra Samarra ( ar, سَامَرَّاء, ') is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a c ...
(~5700–4900 BC) and
Halaf culture The Halaf culture is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...
s (~6000–5300 BC) cultures **
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3800 BC) is a prehistory, prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. The name derives from Tell al-'Ubaid where the earliest large excavation of Ubaid period material was conducted initially by Henry Hall (Egyptologist), Henry H ...
(~6500–4000 BC) **
Uruk period The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BC; also known as Protoliterate period) existed from the protohistory, protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, after the Ubaid period and before the Jemdet Nasr period. ...
(~4000–3100 BC) **
Jemdet Nasr period The Jemdet Nasr Period is an archaeological culture in southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ Ārām''-Nahrīn'' ...
(~3100–2900 BC) * Early Bronze Age ** Early Dynastic period (~2900–2350 BC) **
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. It was centered in the city of Akkad (city), Akkad and its surrounding region. The empire united Akkadian language, Akkadian (Assyri ...
(~2350–2100 BC) **
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
(2112–2004 BC) ** Early Assyrian kingdom (24th to 18th century BC) * Middle Bronze Age **
Isin-Larsa period The Isin-Larsa period (circa 2025-1763 BCE, Middle Chronology, or 1961-1699 BCE, Short Chronology) is a phase in the history of ancient Mesopotamia, which extends between the end of the Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called th ...
(19th to 18th century BC) **
First Babylonian dynasty The First Babylonian Empire, or Old Babylonian Empire, is dated to BC – BC, and comes after the end of Sumerian power with the destruction of the Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22 ...
(18th to 17th century BC) ** Minoan eruption () * Late Bronze Age ** Old Assyrian period (16th to 11th century BC) ** Middle Assyrian period () **
Kassites The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1595 BC and until c. 1155 BC (middle chronology). The endonym of the Kassites was probably Galzu, although they have ...
in
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' * Kassite: ''Karanduniash'' ...
, () **
Late Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
(12th to 11th century BC) *
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic) and the Bronze Age ...
**
Syro-Hittite states and Aramean states ( 800 BCE) The states that are called Syro-Hittite (in older literature), or Luwian-Aramean (in modern scholarly works), were Luwians, Luwian and Aramean regional polities of the Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of ...
(11th to 7th century BC) **
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform: ''mat Aš-šur KI'', "Country of the Assur, city of Ashur (god), god Aššur"; also phonetically ''mat Aš-šur'') was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became ...

Neo-Assyrian Empire
(10th to 7th century BC) **
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
(7th to 6th century BC) *
Classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
** Persian Babylonia,
Achaemenid Assyria Athura ( peo, 𐎠𐎰𐎢𐎼𐎠 ''Aθurā''), also called Assyria, was a geographical area within the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Pers ...
(6th to 4th century BC) **
Seleucid The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Hellenistic state in Western Asia that existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. It was founded by Seleucus I Nicator following the division ...
Mesopotamia (4th to 3rd century BC) ** (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD) **
Osroene Osroene (; grc, Ὀσροηνή / ''Osrhoēnē'', Romanized as ''Osroëne'', or ''Osrhoene'') was an ancient region and state in Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq ...

Osroene
(2nd century BC to 3rd century AD) **
Adiabene Adiabene (from the Ancient Greek , ''Adiabene'', itself derived from syc, ܚܕܝܐܒ, ' or ', Middle Persian: ''Nodshēragān'', Armenian language, Armenian: Նոր Շիրական, ''Nor Shirakan'', Hebrew: ''חדייב'', ''Hadaiav'') was an anci ...
(1st to 2nd century AD) **
Hatra Hatra was an ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia located in present-day eastern Nineveh Governorate Nineveh Governorate ( ar, محافظة نينوى, syr, ܗܘܦܪܟܝܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ, Hoparkiya d’Ninwe, ku, Parêzgeha Neynewa ,پارێزگ ...

Hatra
(1st to 2nd century AD) **
Roman Mesopotamia Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
(2nd to 7th centuries AD),
Roman Assyria Assyria () was reputedly a Roman province that lasted only two years (116–118 AD). History According to Eutropius and Festus, two historians who wrote under the direction of the Emperor Valens Flavius Valens (328 – 9 August 378) was ...
(2nd century AD) *
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Insti ...
**
Palmyrene Empire The Palmyrene Empire was a short-lived Breakaway state, splinter state of the Roman Empire resulting from the Crisis of the Third Century. Named after its capital city, Palmyra, it encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Arabia Petra ...

Palmyrene Empire
(3nd century AD) **
Asōristān Asoristan ( pal, 𐭠𐭮𐭥𐭥𐭮𐭲𐭭 ''Asōristān'', ''Āsūristān'') was the name of the Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥 ...
(3rd to 7th century AD) **
Euphratensis Euphratensis (Latin for "Euphrates, Euphratean"; grc-gre, Εὑφρατησία, ''Euphratēsía''), fully Augusta Euphratensis, was a late Roman and then Byzantine province in Syria (region), Syrian region, part of the Byzantine Diocese of the Ea ...
(mid-4th century AD to 7th century AD) **
Muslim conquest The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad ) , birth_date ...
(mid-7th century AD)


Language and writing

The earliest language written in Mesopotamia was , an
agglutinative The middle sign is in Hungarian, which agglutinates extensively. (The top and bottom signs are in Romanian and German, respectively, both inflecting languages.) The English translation is "Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Satu Mare County D ...
language isolate A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to any others. In the absolute sense, it is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship—one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor comm ...
. Along with Sumerian,
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication us ...

Semitic languages
were also spoken in early Mesopotamia.
Subartu The land of Subartu (Akkadian ''Šubartum/Subartum/ina Šú-ba-ri'', Assyrian '' mât Šubarri'') or Subar (Sumerian Su-bir4/Subar/Šubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature. The name also appears as ''Subari'' in the Amarna letters, and, in t ...
an, a language of the Zagros possibly related to the Hurro-Urartian languages, Hurro-Urartuan language family, is attested in personal names, rivers and mountains and in various crafts. Akkadian language, Akkadian came to be the dominant language during the
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. It was centered in the city of Akkad (city), Akkad and its surrounding region. The empire united Akkadian language, Akkadian (Assyri ...
and the
Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC (in the form of the ...
n empires, but Sumerian was retained for administrative, religious, literary and scientific purposes. Different varieties of Akkadian were used until the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, Neo-Babylonian period. Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic, which had already become common in Mesopotamia, then became the official provincial administration language of first the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform: ''mat Aš-šur KI'', "Country of the Assur, city of Ashur (god), god Aššur"; also phonetically ''mat Aš-šur'') was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became ...

Neo-Assyrian Empire
, and then the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of ...

Achaemenid Empire
: the official variety (linguistics), lect is called Imperial Aramaic. Akkadian fell into disuse, but both it and Sumerian were still used in temples for some centuries. The last Akkadian texts date from the late 1st century AD. Early in Mesopotamia's history (around the mid-4th millennium BC) cuneiform was invented for the Sumerian language. Cuneiform literally means "wedge-shaped", due to the triangular tip of the stylus used for impressing signs on wet clay. The standardized form of each cuneiform sign appears to have been developed from pictograms. The earliest texts (7 archaic tablets) come from the É (temple), É, a temple dedicated to the goddess Inanna at Uruk, from a building labeled as Temple C by its excavators. The early logogram, logographic system of cuneiform script took many years to master. Thus, only a limited number of individuals were hired as scribes to be trained in its use. It was not until the widespread use of a syllabary, syllabic script was adopted under Sargon's rule that significant portions of the Mesopotamian population became literate. Massive archives of texts were recovered from the archaeological contexts of Old Babylonian scribal schools, through which literacy was disseminated. Akkadian gradually replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere around the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC (the exact dating being a matter of debate),Woods C. 2006 "Bilingualism, Scribal Learning, and the Death of Sumerian". In S.L. Sanders (ed) ''Margins of Writing, Origins of Culture'': 91–120 Chicag

/ref> but Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary, and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD.


Literature

Libraries were extant in towns and temples during the Babylonian Empire. An old Sumerian proverb averred that "he who would excel in the school of the scribes must rise with the dawn." Women as well as men learned to read and write, and for the Semitic languages, Semitic Babylonians, this involved knowledge of the extinct Sumerian language, and a complicated and extensive syllabary. A considerable amount of Babylonian literature was translated from Sumerian originals, and the language of religion and law long continued to be the old agglutinative language of Sumer. Vocabularies, grammars, and interlinear translations were compiled for the use of students, as well as commentaries on the older texts and explanations of obscure words and phrases. The characters of the syllabary were all arranged and named, and elaborate lists were drawn up. Many Babylonian literary works are still studied today. One of the most famous of these was the Epic of Gilgamesh, in twelve books, translated from the original Sumerian by a certain Sîn-lēqi-unninni, and arranged upon an astronomical principle. Each division contains the story of a single adventure in the career of Gilgamesh. The whole story is a composite product, although it is probable that some of the stories are artificially attached to the central figure.


Science and technology


Mathematics

Mesopotamian mathematics and science was based on a sexagesimal (base 60) numeral system. This is the source of the 60-minute hour, the 24-hour day, and the 360-degree (angle), degree circle. The Sumerian calendar was lunisolar, with three seven-day weeks of a lunar month. This form of mathematics was instrumental in early History of cartography, map-making. The Babylonians also had theorems on how to measure the area of several shapes and solids. They measured the circumference of a circle as three times the diameter and the area as one-twelfth the square of the circumference, which would be correct if were fixed at 3. The volume of a cylinder was taken as the product of the area of the base and the height; however, the volume of the frustum of a cone or a square pyramid was incorrectly taken as the product of the height and half the sum of the bases. Also, there was a recent discovery in which a tablet used as 25/8 (3.125 instead of 3.14159~). The Babylonians are also known for the Babylonian mile, which was a measure of distance equal to about seven modern miles (11 km). This measurement for distances eventually was converted to a time-mile used for measuring the travel of the Sun, therefore, representing time.


Astronomy

From
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

Sumer
ian times, temple priesthoods had attempted to associate current events with certain positions of the planets and stars. This continued to Assyrian times, when Limmu lists were created as a year by year association of events with planetary positions, which, when they have survived to the present day, allow accurate associations of relative with absolute dating for establishing the history of Mesopotamia. The Babylonian astronomers were very adept at mathematics and could predict Eclipse cycle, eclipses and Solstice#Solstice determination, solstices. Scholars thought that everything had some purpose in astronomy. Most of these related to religion and omens. Mesopotamian astronomers worked out a 12-month calendar based on the cycles of the moon. They divided the year into two seasons: summer and winter. The origins of astronomy as well as astrology date from this time. During the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Babylonian astronomers developed a new approach to astronomy. They began studying philosophy dealing with the ideal nature of the early universe and began employing an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems. This was an important contribution to astronomy and the philosophy of science and some scholars have thus referred to this new approach as the first scientific revolution.D. Brown (2000), ''Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy-Astrology'', Styx Publications, . This new approach to astronomy was adopted and further developed in Greek and Hellenistic astronomy. In Seleucid and Parthian Empire, Parthian times, the astronomical reports were thoroughly scientific; how much earlier their advanced knowledge and methods were developed is uncertain. The Babylonian development of methods for predicting the motions of the planets is considered to be a major episode in the Assyrian astronomy, history of astronomy. The only Greek-Babylonian astronomer known to have supported a heliocentrism, heliocentric model of planetary motion was Seleucus of Seleucia (b. 190 BC). Seleucus is known from the writings of Plutarch. He supported Aristarchus of Samos' heliocentric theory where the Earth's rotation, Earth rotated around its own axis which in turn revolved around the Sun. According to Plutarch, Seleucus even proved the heliocentric system, but it is not known what arguments he used (except that he correctly theorized on tides as a result of Moon's attraction). Babylonian astronomy served as the basis for much of Ancient Greek astronomy, Greek, Indian astronomy, classical Indian, Sassanian, Byzantine Empire, Byzantine,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
n, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, medieval Islamic, Central Asian, and Western European astronomy.


Medicine

The oldest Babylonian texts on medicine date back to the First Babylonian dynasty, Old Babylonian period in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the ''Diagnostic Handbook'' written by the ''ummânū'', or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa, during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina (1069-1046 BC). Along with contemporary ancient Egyptian medicine, Egyptian medicine, the Babylonians introduced the concepts of medical diagnosis, diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, enemas, and Medical prescription, prescriptions. In addition, the ''Diagnostic Handbook'' introduced the methods of therapy and aetiology and the use of empiricism, logic, and rationality in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. The text contains a list of medical symptoms and often detailed empirical observations along with logical rules used in combining observed symptoms on the body of a patient with its diagnosis and prognosis. The symptoms and diseases of a patient were treated through therapeutic means such as bandages, cream (pharmaceutical), creams and pill (pharmacy), pills. If a patient could not be cured physically, the Babylonian physicians often relied on exorcism to cleanse the patient from any curses. Esagil-kin-apli's ''Diagnostic Handbook'' was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient's disease, its aetiology, its future development, and the chances of the patient's recovery.H.F.J. Horstmanshoff, Marten Stol, Cornelis Tilburg (2004), ''Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine'', p. 99, Brill Publishers, . Esagil-kin-apli discovered a variety of illnesses and diseases and described their symptoms in his ''Diagnostic Handbook''. These include the symptoms for many varieties of epilepsy and related ailments along with their diagnosis and prognosis.


Technology

Mesopotamian people invented many technologies including metal and copper-working, glass and lamp making, textile weaving, flood control, water storage, and irrigation. They were also one of the first Bronze Age societies in the world. They developed from copper, bronze, and gold on to iron. Palaces were decorated with hundreds of kilograms of these very expensive metals. Also, copper, bronze, and iron were used for armor as well as for different weapons such as swords, daggers, spears, and mace (bludgeon), maces. According to a recent hypothesis, the Archimedes' screw may have been used by Sennacherib, King of Assyria, for the water systems at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris R ...
in the 7th century BC, although mainstream scholarship holds it to be a Ancient Greece, Greek invention of later times. Later, during the Parthian or Sasanian periods, the Baghdad Battery, which may have been the world's first battery, was created in Mesopotamia.


Religion and philosophy

The Ancient Mesopotamian religion was the first recorded. Mesopotamians believed that the world was a flat disc, surrounded by a huge, holed space, and above that, heaven. They also believed that water was everywhere, the top, bottom and sides, and that the universe was born from this enormous sea. In addition, Mesopotamian religion was polytheism, polytheistic. Although the beliefs described above were held in common among Mesopotamians, there were also regional variations. The Sumerian word for universe is an-ki, which refers to the god Anu, An and the goddess Ki (goddess), Ki. Their son was Enlil, the air god. They believed that Enlil was the most powerful god. He was the chief god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon.


Philosophy

The numerous civilizations of the area influenced the Abrahamic religions, especially the Hebrew Bible; its cultural values and literary influence are especially evident in the Book of Genesis. Giorgio Buccellati believes that the origins of philosophy can be traced back to early Mesopotamian wisdom, which embodied certain philosophies of life, particularly ethics, in the forms of dialectic, dialogues, epic poetry, folklore, hymns, lyrics, prose works, and proverbs. Babylonian reason and rationality developed beyond empiricism, empirical observation. The earliest form of logic was developed by the Babylonians, notably in the rigorous ergodicity, nonergodic nature of their social structure, social systems. Babylonian thought was axiomatic and is comparable to the "ordinary logic" described by John Maynard Keynes. Babylonian thought was also based on an Open system (systems theory), open-systems ontology which is compatible with ergodic axioms. Logic was employed to some extent in Babylonian astronomy and medicine. Babylonian thought had a considerable influence on early Ancient Greek philosophy, Ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy. In particular, the Babylonian text ''Dialogue of Pessimism'' contains similarities to the agonistic thought of the Sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of dialectic, and the dialogs of Plato, as well as a precursor to the Socratic method. The Ionians, Ionian philosopher Thales was influenced by Babylonian cosmological ideas.


Culture


Festivals

Ancient Mesopotamians had ceremonies each month. The theme of the rituals and festivals for each month was determined by at least six important factors: # The Lunar phase (a waxing moon meant abundance and growth, while a waning moon was associated with decline, conservation, and festivals of the Underworld) # The phase of the annual agricultural cycle # Equinoxes and solstices # The local mythos and its divine Patrons # The success of the reigning Monarch # The Akitu, or New Year Festival (first full moon after spring equinox) # Commemoration of specific historical events (founding, military victories, temple holidays, etc.)


Music

Some songs were written for the gods but many were written to describe important events. Although music and songs amused Monarch, kings, they were also enjoyed by ordinary people who liked to sing and dance in their homes or in the marketplaces. Songs were sung to children who passed them on to their children. Thus songs were passed on through many generations as an oral tradition until writing was more universal. These songs provided a means of passing on through the century, centuries highly important information about historical events. The Oud (Arabic:العود) is a small, stringed musical instrument used by the Mesopotamians. The oldest pictorial record of the Oud dates back to the
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
period in Southern Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago. It is on a cylinder seal currently housed at the British Museum and acquired by Dr. Dominique Collon. The image depicts a female crouching with her instruments upon a boat, playing right-handed. This instrument appears hundreds of times throughout Mesopotamian history and again in ancient Egypt from the 18th dynasty onwards in long- and short-neck varieties. The oud is regarded as a wikt:Precursor, precursor to the European lute. Its name is derived from the Arabic word العود al-‘ūd 'the wood', which is probably the name of the tree from which the oud was made. (The Arabic name, with the definite article, is the source of the word 'lute'.)


Games

Hunting was popular among Assyrian kings. Boxing and wrestling feature frequently in art, and some form of polo was probably popular, with men sitting on the shoulders of other men rather than on horses. They also played ''majore'', a game similar to the sport rugby football, rugby, but played with a ball made of wood. They also played a board game similar to senet and backgammon, now known as the "Royal Game of Ur".


Family life

Mesopotamia, as shown by successive law codes, those of Urukagina, Lipit Ishtar and
Hammurabi Hammurabi () was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performanc ...

Hammurabi
, across its history became more and more a patriarchal society, one in which the men were far more powerful than the women. For example, during the earliest Sumerian period, the ''"en"'', or high priest of male gods was originally a woman, that of female goddesses, a man. Thorkild Jacobsen, as well as many others, has suggested that early Mesopotamian society was ruled by a "council of elders" in which men and women were equally represented, but that over time, as the status of women fell, that of men increased. As for schooling, only royal offspring and sons of the rich and professionals, such as scribes, physicians, temple administrators, went to school. Most boys were taught their father's trade or were apprenticed out to learn a trade. Girls had to stay home with their mothers to learn housekeeping and cooking, and to look after the younger children. Some children would help with crushing grain or cleaning birds. Unusually for that time in history, women in Mesopotamia had rights. They could own property and, if they had good reason, get a divorce.


Burials

Hundreds of grave (burial), graves have been excavated in parts of Mesopotamia, revealing information about Mesopotamian burial habits. In the city of Ur, most people were buried in family graves under their houses, along with some possessions. A few have been found wrapped in mats and carpets. Deceased children were put in big "jars" which were placed in the family chapel. Other remains have been found buried in common city graveyards. 17 graves have been found with very precious objects in them. It is assumed that these were royal graves. Rich of various periods, have been discovered to have sought burial in Bahrein, identified with Sumerian Dilmun.


Economy

Sumerian temples functioned as banks and developed the first large-scale economy, system of loans and credit, but the Babylonians developed the earliest system of commercial banking. It was comparable in some ways to modern post-Keynesian economics, but with a more "anything goes" approach.


Agriculture

Irrigated agriculture spread southwards from the Zagros foothills with the Samara and Hadji Muhammed culture, from about 5,000 BC. In the early period down to Ur III temples owned up to one third of the available land, declining over time as royal and other private holdings increased in frequency. The word Ensí, ''Ensi'' was used to describe the official who organized the work of all facets of temple agriculture. Villeins are known to have worked most frequently within agriculture, especially in the grounds of temples or palaces. The geography of southern Mesopotamia is such that agriculture is possible only with irrigation and with good drainage, a fact which had a profound effect on the evolution of early Mesopotamian civilization. The need for irrigation led the Sumerians, and later the Akkadians, to build their cities along the Tigris and Euphrates and the branches of these rivers. Major cities, such as Ur and Uruk, took root on tributaries of the Euphrates, while others, notably Lagash, were built on branches of the Tigris. The rivers provided the further benefits of fish (used both for food and fertilizer), reeds, and clay (for building materials). With irrigation, the food supply in Mesopotamia was comparable to that of the Canadian prairies. The Tigris and Euphrates River valleys form the northeastern portion of the , which also included the Jordan River valley and that of the Nile. Although land nearer to the rivers was fertile and good for crops, portions of land farther from the water were dry and largely uninhabitable. Thus the development of irrigation became very important for settlers of Mesopotamia. Other Mesopotamian innovations include the control of water by dams and the use of aqueducts. Early settlers of fertile land in Mesopotamia used wooden plows to soften the soil before planting crops such as barley, onions, grapes, turnips, and apples. Mesopotamian settlers were some of the first people to make beer and wine. As a result of the skill involved in farming in the Mesopotamian region, farmers did not generally depend on slaves to complete farm work for them, but there were some exceptions. There were too many risks involved to make slavery practical (i.e. the escape/mutiny of the slaves). Although the rivers sustained life, they also destroyed it by frequent floods that ravaged entire cities. The unpredictable Mesopotamian weather was often hard on farmers; crops were often ruined so backup sources of food such as cows and lambs were also kept. Over time the southernmost parts of Sumerian Mesopotamia suffered from increased salinity of the soils, leading to a slow urban decline and a centring of power in Akkad, further north.


Trade

Mesopotamian trade with the Indus Valley civilisation flourished as early as the third millennium BC. Starting in the 4th millennium BC, Mesopotamian civilizations also traded with ancient Egypt (see Egypt–Mesopotamia relations).Shaw, Ian. & Nicholson, Paul, ''The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt,'' (London: British Museum Press, 1995), p. 109. For much of history, Mesopotamia served as a trade route, trade nexus - east-west between Central Asia and the Mediterranean world (part of the Silk Road), as well as north–south between the Eastern Europe and
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a ...

Baghdad
(Volga trade route). Vasco da Gama's pioneering (1497-1499) of the Portuguese discovery of the sea route to India, sea route between India and Europe and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 impacted on this nexus.


Government

The geography of Mesopotamia had a profound impact on the political development of the region. Among the rivers and streams, the Sumerian people built the first cities along with irrigation canals which were separated by vast stretches of open desert or swamp where nomadic tribes roamed. Communication among the isolated cities was difficult and, at times, dangerous. Thus, each Sumerian city became a city-state, independent of the others and protective of its independence. At times one city would try to conquer and unify the region, but such efforts were resisted and failed for centuries. As a result, the political history of Sumer is one of almost constant warfare. Eventually Sumer was unified by Eannatum, but the unification was tenuous and failed to last as the Akkadians conquered Sumer in 2331 BC only a generation later. The Akkadian Empire was the first successful empire to last beyond a generation and see the peaceful succession of kings. The empire was relatively short-lived, as the Babylonians conquered them within only a few generations.


Kings

The Mesopotamians believed their kings and queens were descended from the City of Deity, Gods, but, unlike the ancient Egyptians, they never believed their kings were real gods. Most kings named themselves "king of the universe" or "great king". Another common name was "shepherd", as kings had to look after their people.


Power

When Assyria grew into an empire, it was divided into smaller parts, called provinces. Each of these were named after their main cities, like Nineveh, Samaria, Damascus, and Arpad (Syria), Arpad. They all had their own governor who had to make sure everyone paid their taxes. Governors also had to call up soldiers to war and supply workers when a temple was built. He was also responsible for enforcing the laws. In this way, it was easier to keep control of a large empire. Although Babylon was quite a small Sovereign state, state in Sumer, it grew tremendously throughout the time of
Hammurabi Hammurabi () was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performanc ...

Hammurabi
's rule. He was known as "the lawmaker" and created the Code of Hammurabi, and soon
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' * Kassite: ''Karanduniash'' ...
became one of the main cities in Mesopotamia. It was later called Babylonia, which meant "the gateway of the gods." It also became one of history's greatest centers of learning.


Warfare

With the end of the
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
phase, walled cities grew and many isolated Ubaid period, Ubaid villages were abandoned indicating a rise in communal violence. An early king Lugalbanda was supposed to have built the white walls around the city. As city-states began to grow, their spheres of influence overlapped, creating arguments between other city-states, especially over land and canals. These arguments were recorded in tablets several hundreds of years before any major war—the first recording of a war occurred around 3200 BC but was not common until about 2500 BC. An Early Dynastic II king (Ensi) of Uruk in Sumer, Gilgamesh (c. 2600 BC), was commended for military exploits against Humbaba guardian of the Cedar Mountain, and was later celebrated in many later poems and songs in which he was claimed to be two-thirds god and only one-third human. The later Stele of the Vultures at the end of the Early Dynastic III period (2600–2350 BC), commemorating the victory of Eannatum of Lagash over the neighbouring rival city of Umma is the oldest monument in the world that celebrates a massacre. From this point forwards, warfare was incorporated into the Mesopotamian political system. At times a neutral city may act as an arbitrator for the two rival cities. This helped to form unions between cities, leading to regional states. When empires were created, they went to war more with foreign countries. King Sargon, for example, conquered all the cities of Sumer, some cities in Mari, and then went to war with northern Syria. Many Assyrian and Babylonian palace walls were decorated with the pictures of the successful fights and the enemy either desperately escaping or hiding amongst reeds.


Laws

City-states of Mesopotamia created the first law codes, drawn from legal precedence and decisions made by kings. The codes of Urukagina and Lipit Ishtar have been found. The most renowned of these was that of
Hammurabi Hammurabi () was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performanc ...

Hammurabi
, as mentioned above, who was posthumously famous for his set of laws, the Code of Hammurabi (created c. 1780 BC), which is one of the earliest sets of laws found and one of the best preserved examples of this type of document from ancient Mesopotamia. He codified over 200 laws for Mesopotamia. Examination of the laws show a progressive weakening of the rights of women, and increasing severity in the treatment of slaves.


Art

The art of Mesopotamia rivalled Art of Ancient Egypt, that of Ancient Egypt as the most grand, sophisticated and elaborate in western Eurasia from the 4th millennium BC until the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered the region in the 6th century BC. The main emphasis was on various, very durable, forms of sculpture in stone and clay; little painting has survived, but what has suggests that painting was mainly used for geometrical and plant-based decorative schemes, though most sculpture was also painted. The Protoliterate period, dominated by
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
, saw the production of sophisticated works like the Warka Vase and cylinder seals. The Guennol Lioness is an outstanding small limestone figure from Elam of about 3000–2800 BC, part man and part lion. A little later there are a number of figures of large-eyed priests and worshippers, mostly in alabaster and up to a foot high, who attended temple cult images of the deity, but very few of these have survived. Sculptures from the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

Sumer
ian and Akkadian Empire, Akkadian period generally had large, staring eyes, and long beards on the men. Many masterpieces have also been found at the Royal Cemetery at Ur (c. 2650 BC), including the two figures of a ''Ram in a Thicket'', the ''Copper Bull'' and a bull's head on one of the Lyres of Ur. From the many subsequent periods before the ascendency of the Neo-Assyrian Empire Mesopotamian art survives in a number of forms: cylinder seals, relatively small figures in the round, and reliefs of various sizes, including cheap plaques of moulded pottery for the home, some religious and some apparently not. The Burney Relief is an unusual elaborate and relatively large (20 x 15 inches) terracotta plaque of a naked winged goddess with the feet of a bird of prey, and attendant owls and lions. It comes from the 18th or 19th centuries BC, and may also be moulded. Stone stelae, votive offerings, or ones probably commemorating victories and showing feasts, are also found from temples, which unlike more official ones lack inscriptions that would explain them; the fragmentary Stele of the Vultures is an early example of the inscribed type, and the Assyrian Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III a large and solid late one. The conquest of the whole of Mesopotamia and much surrounding territory by the Assyrians created a larger and wealthier state than the region had known before, and very grandiose art in palaces and public places, no doubt partly intended to match the splendour of the art of the neighbouring Egyptian empire. The Assyrians developed a style of extremely large schemes of very finely detailed narrative low reliefs in stone for palaces, with scenes of war or hunting; the British Museum has an outstanding collection. They produced very little sculpture in the round, except for colossal guardian figures, often the human-headed lamassu, which are sculpted in high relief on two sides of a rectangular block, with the heads effectively in the round (and also five legs, so that both views seem complete). Even before dominating the region they had continued the cylinder seal tradition with designs which are often exceptionally energetic and refined.


Architecture

The study of ancient Mesopotamian architecture is based on available archaeological evidence, pictorial representation of buildings, and texts on building practices. Scholarly literature usually concentrates on temples, palaces, city walls and gates, and other monumental buildings, but occasionally one finds works on residential architecture as well. Archaeological surface surveys also allowed for the study of urban form in early Mesopotamian cities. Brick is the dominant material, as the material was freely available locally, whereas building stone had to be brought a considerable distance to most cities. The ziggurat is the most distinctive form, and cities often had large gateways, of which the Ishtar Gate from Neo-Babylonian Babylon, decorated with beasts in polychrome brick, is the most famous, now largely in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The most notable architectural remains from early Mesopotamia are the temple complexes at
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of Sumer (and later of Babylonia) situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern Samawah, Muthanna Governorate, Al-Muthannā, ...
from the 4th millennium BC, temples and palaces from the Early Dynastic period sites in the Diyala River valley such as Khafajah and Tell Asmar, the
Third Dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
remains at
Nippur Nippur ( Sumerian: ''Nibru'', often logographically recorded as , EN.LÍLKI, "Enlil City;"The Cambridge Ancient History: Prolegomena & Prehistory': Vol. 1, Part 1. Accessed 15 Dec 2010.] Akkadian language, Akkadian: ''Nibbur'') was an ancient Su ...
(Sanctuary of Enlil) and Ur (Sanctuary of Sin (mythology), Nanna), Middle Bronze Age remains at Syrian-Turkish sites of Ebla, Mari, Syria, Mari, Alalakh, Aleppo and Kultepe, Late Bronze Age palaces at Hattusa, Ugarit, Assur, Ashur and Nuzi, Iron Age palaces and temples at
Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC (in the form of the ...
n (Kalhu/Nimrud, Khorsabad,
Nineveh Nineveh (; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē; akk, ) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris R ...
),
Babylonia Babylonia () was an Ancient history, ancient Akkadian language, Akkadian-speaking state (polity), state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and Syria). A small Amorites, Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 ...
n (
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' * Kassite: ''Karanduniash'' ...
), Urartian (Tushpa/Van, Kalesi, Cavustepe, Ayanis, Armavir, Armenia, Armavir, Yerevan, Erebuni, Bastam) and Neo-Hittite sites (Carchemish, Karkamis, Tell Halaf, Karatepe). Houses are mostly known from Old Babylonian remains at Nippur and Ur. Among the textual sources on building construction and associated rituals are Gudea's cylinders from the late 3rd millennium are notable, as well as the Assyrian and Babylonian royal inscriptions from the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic) and the Bronze Age ...
.


See also

* '''' * ''''


References


Further reading

* Guillermo Algaze, Algaze, Guillermo, 2008 ''Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization, Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: the Evolution of an Urban Landscape''. University of Chicago Press. * ''Atlas de la Mésopotamie et du Proche-Orient ancien'', Brepols, 1996 . * Benoit, Agnès; 2003. ''Art et archéologie : les civilisations du Proche-Orient ancien'', Manuels de l'Ecole du Louvre. * Jean Bottéro, Bottéro, Jean; 1987. ''Mésopotamie. L'écriture, la raison et les dieux'', Gallimard, coll. « Folio Histoire », . * * Edzard, Dietz Otto; 2004. ''Geschichte Mesopotamiens. Von den Sumerern bis zu Alexander dem Großen'', München, * Henri Frankfort, Frankfort, Henri, ''The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient'', Pelican History of Art, 4th ed 1970, Penguin (now Yale History of Art), * Hrouda, Barthel and Rene Pfeilschifter; 2005. ''Mesopotamien. Die antiken Kulturen zwischen Euphrat und Tigris.'' München 2005 (4. Aufl.), * Joannès, Francis; 2001. ''Dictionnaire de la civilisation mésopotamienne'', Robert Laffont. * Korn, Wolfgang; 2004. ''Mesopotamien – Wiege der Zivilisation. 6000 Jahre Hochkulturen an Euphrat und Tigris'', Stuttgart, * Kuhrt, Amélie; 1995. ''The Ancient Near East: c. 3000–330 B.C''. 2 Vols. Routledge: London and New York. * Liverani, Mario; 1991. ''Antico Oriente: storia, società, economia''. Editori Laterza: Roma. * Matthews, Roger; 2005. ''The early prehistory of Mesopotamia – 500,000 to 4,500 BC'', Turnhout 2005, * Oppenheim, A. Leo; 1964. ''Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a dead civilization''. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. Revised edition completed by Erica Reiner, 1977. * Pollock, Susan; 1999.'' Ancient Mesopotamia: the Eden that never was''. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. * Postgate, J. Nicholas; 1992. ''Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the dawn of history''. Routledge: London and New York. * Roux, Georges; 1964. ''Ancient Iraq'', Penguin Books. * Silver, Morris; 2007. ''Redistribution and Markets in the Economy of Ancient Mesopotamia: Updating Polanyi'', Antiguo Oriente 5: 89–112. * Snell, Daniel (ed.); 2005. ''A Companion to the Ancient Near East''. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub, 2005. * Van de Mieroop, Marc; 2004. ''A history of the ancient Near East. ca 3000–323 BC''. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.


External links


Ancient Mesopotamia
– timeline, definition, and articles at World History Encyclopedia
Mesopotamia
nbsp;– introduction to Mesopotamia from the British Museum
By Nile and Tigris
a narrative of journeys in Egypt and Mesopotamia on behalf of the British museum between the years 1886 and 1913, by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, 1920 ''(a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu
layered PDF
format)''
A Dweller in Mesopotamia
being the adventures of an official artist in the Garden of Eden, by Donald Maxwell, 1921 ''(a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu &   format)''
Mesopotamian Archaeology
by Percy S.P. Handcock, 1912 ''(a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu &   format)''
Mesopotamia
1920 {{Authority control Mesopotamia, Ancient history of Iraq Ancient Near East Ancient Syria Civilizations Eastern Mediterranean Geography of Iraq Geography of Kuwait Geography of Syria Geography of the Middle East Geography of Western Asia Historical regions History of the Middle East History of Western Asia Iraq Levant Near East Persian Gulf